Happy Friday friends! What are your plans for the weekend?!? I’ve got big plans for a Target trip and am hoping to finally sort through all of Sam’s baby clothes for my sister-in-law who is due with her first little boy in less than two months since it’s supposed to be cold and rainy here… It’s a wild life I live, I know! 🙂
Anyway, I’m working on a post about our life lately, our adjustment to being a family of four, and how things are different this time around for Monday (fingers crossed). But, in the meantime, I wanted to share an old blog post from the first weeks of Sam’s life that is near and dear to my heart.
I wrote this (on E, Myself, and I) when Sam was three weeks old. It was really a turning point for me as a blogger because, before it, my blog had mostly been about surface-y stuff and painted a pretty nice picture of everything in its place. As you’ve heard me say many times before, my transition into motherhood was not at all what I had expected. It was much harder and it changed me in ways I could never have been prepared for. I wrote this post, almost four years ago, from a place of vulnerability and a need to connect with other moms and feel like I wasn’t alone in those early weeks. Looking back, I am SO thankful for those difficult days (months) because of the ways they really did strengthen my faith and make me a better mom and woman in general.
If you are a new mom (or even if you aren’t), I hope you will find some kind of encouragement in these words today. Know that you are doing a GOOD job, and you are not alone if everything doesn’t feel “natural” or “easy” for you. It DOES get better and, more importantly, you will be better because of the hard days.
So, without further adieu… (From August 4, 2011)
Please, don’t get me wrong… I LOVE being a mommy and am thankful EVERY DAY for this precious life God has given me. But, the experience so far has blown my expectations out of the water. Despite all the classes I took, books I read, and (yes) kits I made during pregnancy, I don’t think I was fully prepared for ALL the decisions I’d be responsible for in his little life. I second guess myself A LOT. Most of the ideas I had about parenting before he was born have been completely changed now – just a few weeks in. I’m a different mom than I thought I would be. It is hard. Really hard.
There, I said it.
For all the years I’ve thought “I was made to be a mom,” I’ve been surprised by how unnatural a lot of this mommy stuff feels sometimes . Sure, I can look at my little guy and immediately swell up with pride and love for him. I think he is the cutest thing in the whole world. I can function on MUCH less sleep than I thought I could. And, I don’t really mind poop – in fact, I find it kind-of fascinating. But, I also find myself staring at the inside of his tiny screaming mouth (even though he is well fed, changed, and soothed) and wonder “What in the world do you want?” and “will I ever understand you?”
In my heart, I know that the answer to that last question is YES. I know I’m not the only person that’s ever survived the first month with a newborn. I also know that God made Sam just for me, and He has and will fully equip me to care for him. But, when I am tired, my boobs hurt, there are soiled onesies everywhere, and my little guy has been crying on and off for three hours, I worry.
I worry about scheduling – Am I creating a monster if I feed him every hour instead of every 2.5? Is he starving if I wait three hours between meals? Will we ever be able to leave the house comfortably?
I worry about sleeping – Is it horrible if I let my two week old cry himself to sleep? Or, am I just teaching him bad habits by rocking him to sleep instead of allowing him to self-soothe? Should I put him in my bed if it gives both of us an extra hour of sleep? Is he too hot? Too cold? Should he take all his naps in his bassinet, or should we reserve that only for nighttime sleep? When visitors come, should I let them hold Sam while he is sleeping, or keep him in his crib? Should I wake him after 2 hours even if he is sound asleep?
I worry about eating – Am I making too much milk? Will I only make more milk if I pump so I’m not so sore? Am I giving Sam gas and indigestion? Why does he cry in the middle of a meal, but act like he is still hungry?Are Mylicon drops and gripe water safe? Should I give up dairy?
I’m a control freak, and this little one will not be controlled. So, I walk, and sway, and “shush,” and worry.
Sometimes I find myself wishing away the days until Sam passes the 6, 8, 12 week milestones and things get “easier.” Then, I talk to another mom and realize that she’s been there too, that I am not alone in this journey. And, that I can’t get this stage back. One day, he won’t want to be held 24/7, and I will miss it. Perspective is a beautiful thing.
I will never judge other moms again. (Yes, I did before. I’m sorry.) I am learning – maybe for the first time in my life – how to REST and BE STILL. I am reminded again (powerfully), that I am NOT GOD… I don’t have to have all the answers or do it all right because He has had a plan for Sam from the time he was just a poppy seed in my belly. I still believe I was made to be a mom. I just now believe that being a mom is a lot more difficult than I’d thought. It isn’t so much about knowing what to do, as it is about trusting yourself. That is a skill they don’t talk as much about in parenting classes. That doesn’t seem to come quite as naturally as milk or the ability to change a diaper with one hand. But, it is coming. I am figuring this stuff out one day at a time… I am changing; and, as much as it pains me to say it… CHANGE IS GOOD.
Three weeks down… a lifetime to go! 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Amanda K. says
i read this post a while ago and related SO MUCH.
i always say, having my first child was one of the hardest things i’d ever done. and reading posts like this made me feel less alone, less like i was a bad mom or not cut out for this job. but, in reality, i suppose, none of us really are, ya know? we’re all here in humble reliance on God’s grace and His portion.
looking forward to reading more about your transition, cheering for you!
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Oh, this brought me right back to my Baby I’s first month (or so). With my second child about five months from making his/her debut, I am following you with a lot of fascination, hope, and prayer! Thanks for posting your story 🙂
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